Macbook Pro i5 vs i7 - Gaming

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lieb39, May 19, 2010.

  1. lieb39 macrumors 6502

    lieb39

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Hello all -

    So I'm thinking of upgrading my four year old black Macbook to a Macbook Pro 15". I'm going to install Windows on bootcamp just so I can play the Grand Theft Auto series. I was wondering if I need to get the i7 with the 512mb of the NVidia graphics card, or if the i5 with the 256mb will be okay? I'll be choosing the higher def screen (1680-by-1050)

    Of course, the recommended requirements for GTA3 aren't much:
    System:pIII 700 or equivalent
    RAM:128 MB
    Video Memory:32 MB
    Hard Drive Space:700 MB

    While the requirements for GTA4 are a bit more..
    OS: Windows Vista - Service Pack 1 / XP - Service Pack 3
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz, AMD Phenom X3 2.1Ghz
    Memory: 2 GB (Windows XP) 2.5 GB (Windows Vista)
    18 GB Free Hard Drive Space
    Video Card: 512MB NVIDIA 8600 / 512MB ATI 3870

    I'm not looking to play GTA4 that much, but will it run on the i5/256 option, or am I shall I just swallow my pride and pay for the i7?

    Cheers,
    lieb39
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    There will be zero to very little difference, so get the i5
     
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #3
    No difference.

    Even the i5 vs i7 iMac game at the same rate.

    Good news, barefeats have already done the tests for you:

    http://www.barefeats.com/

    Its a numbers game -- PC gamers fall into this trap as well. they *think* that the $300 1TB VRAM card they just bought will play games faster = reality they dont.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    No matter if the GPU has 10TB VRAM if it's too slow to take advantage of it! Stream cores and clocks matter a lot more, so does mem bandwidth. Those ATI 5650 1GBs are ridiculous as they are just confusing buyers
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #5
    Yep, looks like barefeats is showing nearly the same FPS for either the 256/512 GPU and the i5/i7 CPU.

    Looks like it is only when you go to 2560x1600 resolution you see the difference.
     
  6. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #6
    I would be more worried about the fact that neither the i7 or i5 in the MBP are quad core processors, and GTA4's requirements list a quad core processor. You might want to read around and see how GTA4 runs on dual core systems. It might not even make full use of one, but its odd that minimum requirements are a quad core.
     
  7. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #7
    The i5 is a better buy if you want to play games that are out today. Unfortunately, many of the future games will require 512M (only on the i7).

    Also, if you are thinking about getting the high res screen, please try it out before you buy. The screen itself is really nice but the font size is very small (much too small). The font size may not be an issue to you but you really should try it out first (email, etc).
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #8
    That still doesn't help the fact that 330M is simply TOO SLOW to take full advantage of the 512MB. No matter does it have 1TB or 32MB if it can't take advantage of it
     
  9. lieb39 thread starter macrumors 6502

    lieb39

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    Oh wow, thanks for that everyone :) I'll just get myself the i5 - I'm running a Core 2 Duo right now, so I think any upgrade will be noticed big time.

    I'll definitely try out the high res screen before I buy it, sounds like the resolution may be pushing it.

    Cheers
     
  10. EasyJW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #10
    the difference will be so unnoticable, save your money and get the i5 [​IMG]
     
  11. BaronStein macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    NY
    #11
    Rather than the difference between i5 and i7, for GTA4 case, it is the ram available for the graphics card. i5 MBP comes with 256 mb for 330m, and i7 with 512. And GTA4 is a very graphic intensive game and that difference in video ram makes a huge difference. So, if you are planning to play games, I'd suggest that you should get the i7 version as it has a video ram of 512mb for 330m.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    Please take a look at some posts above. The amount of VRAM doesn't matter if the GPU ain't powerful enough. Also, take a look at this, when playing @1920x1200, the difference is almost zero. It only matters if you plan to use it with bigger screen like 30" Apple CD.
     
  13. Snowcake macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #13
    Gta is a bad port, if you go for the 256 mb vram, then you wil have to choose the "low texture" setting.
    If you go for the 512 mb vram, you can set it on medium.

    Nonsens, bigger textures doesn't need immediately much more gpu power, really think for yourself, read user experiences/reviews.

    And consider: the future of opengl...
     
  14. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #14
    That it's too slow to take full advantage of the 512M is not the issue. The problem is that many of the upcoming games will not let you select anything other than low quality graphics unless you have 512M. Yes, the fps will be low for the higher graphic settings but, at least you will be able to select something other than "low graphic settings" when you play the game.
     
  15. jdhatt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #15
    i dont think thats true....if the cards not fast enough no matter what setting you put it on the game wont even run....unless its on low just like the 256mb....unless ur on a very high res or huge screen the card wont show any diff...sure u might be able to apply the higher setting for games that require more ram but whats the point if the card isnt powerful enough to utilize it?
     
  16. JasO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    If you're not too worried about playing the latest and greatest future games then get the i5. If this is of concern to you then the i7 may be the way to go.

    I suggest save the money and go with the i5, it will be a huge improvement over what you have at the moment and it will play what you want with great ease.
     
  17. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #17
    Take the Starcraft 2 beta as an example. People with 512MB were able to run it with high quality settings while people with less V RAM were only able to run it at the lower quality settings (i.e the game software determines how much V RAM you have and sets the max quality accordingly). How well the game runs at the higher quality is subjective for each person but, if you get less than 512M, you can't even try the higher quality.
     
  18. jdhatt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #18
    will starcraft 2 beta run better on medium settings on the 512 than the 256? are lower settings even better on the 512 too?
     
  19. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #19
    this might seem like a stupid question but in the Grand TheftAuto requierments it says 512mb so even if he doesnt have the requierd Vram?
    this is a huge cocern fr me also im not intersted in playing my games at full setting but i dont want not to be abe to even play because i dont meet the minimun requierments.
     
  20. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    do you rly want to know?
    #20
    i suggest not trying to play GTA4 on a macbook pro. it is a very stupid idea. GTA4 is unoptimized for PCs so you require high specs to get ti playable which means playing on a macbook pro is out of the question unless u want to play on low res and low settings. if you want to game on PC, get a desktop. tryingt o game seriously on laptops is a fools errand.
     
  21. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #21
    some of us really need a laptop and cant afford a tower only for gaming, we must do the most we can with what we got.
     
  22. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #23
    tell me about it, i had to searuslly cut n my drinking and partying i havnt gone out dor 3 months... just one more... but im shure it willl be worth it.
     
  23. InfoSecmgr Guest

    InfoSecmgr

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    #24
    The i5 sucks for gaming, sorry. I have a 17 inch, brand spanking new, i5 and the only game I can really play well is UT3/ any unreal 3 engine game.
     
  24. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #25
    this might not be the place to ask but.... well can you turn your mbp display into a screen andplug a ps3? as far as gaming goes it would be awsome and about the same price...

    is this possible?
     

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